Marylanders agree with Ravens decision on Ray Rice

Most Maryland voters agree that the Ravens were right to fire Ravens running back Ray Rice, but a higher percentage of women than men thought the team's punishment was too severe, according to a new poll for The Baltimore Sun.

Fifty-nine percent of men said they supported the team's decision to terminate Rice's contract, while 52 percent of women agreed with the punishment for punching his then-fiancee in an elevator of an Atlantic City casino.

The poll of 800 likely Maryland voters was conducted for The Sun by OpinionWorks of Annapolis.

The Greater Baltimore area polled nearly identically to the rest of the state on the issue, which OpinionWorks President Steve Raabe called "striking," given that Ravens fans are more likely to be centrally located. A slightly higher portion of Greater Washington-area residents supported the team's decision, he said.

The question was part of a poll conducted by phone Oct. 4 to Oct. 8 that surveyed 429 women and 371 men in the state.

Age was a factor: Younger Marylanders were more likely to support Rice's firing than their elders. Sixty-one percent of respondents younger than 35 said the team was right to cut Rice, compared with 59 percent between 35 and 49, 53 percent ages 50 to 64, and 46 percent of those 65 and older.

Republicans favored the team's decision at a higher percentage than Democrats — 57 percent to 53 percent, respectively.

Raabe said media scrutiny of the case, which he called "an explosion of stories," might have swayed opinions.

A surveillance camera video from inside the elevator showing the full incident was posted by TMZ last month, prompting the Ravens to fire Rice and the NFL to reconsider its initial two-game suspension and impose an indefinite ban. The running back is appealing the ban, and the league's handling of the incident is under investigation.

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